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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Harassment by Neighbor Via Repeated Code Enforcement Calls

    My question involves defamation in the state of: Colorado

    Greetings, I'm new here and hoping for some advice.

    I've lived in my home in the >100k person city of Longmont, Colorado for about 3 years now. We're a youngish family with a 6 year old, a 3 year old and two large dogs, Mom and Dad.

    We live in a turn of the century suburb, where the lots are about .25 acre. I own the original farmhouse in the area that owned the orchards around it that all the ranch homes surrounding me were built on. I've made various improvements to the home that have increased it's value and attractiveness and consequently increased everyone's property values. We live in a beautiful old 2 story cottage.

    We're at the leading edge of a generational turnover for the surround blocks. See everyone around me is retired, and really starting to get on - they're mostly in their 70's from what I can tell. These are the types that trim their lawns with scissors. Nothing better to do I guess.

    In any case we've lived here fairly peacefully for a few years until mid-spring this year. One of my neighbors came over to ask if it was OK for her to trim the weeds along the alleyway side of my 8ft privacy fence because they were going to seed. I told her I was sorry that it bothered her and that I would handle it myself, which I did and had the work done 45 minutes after she came to my front door. The next day I get a letter from the city code enforcement office saying someone had complained about the weeds and that I had 48 hours to comply or a contractor would be hired to handle it and I would be billed. I come to find out talking to another neighbor that it was him - across my alleyway that made the calls after I interrogated him - I asked that if there is ever an issue with anything to please approach me or my wife and we'd talk about it going forward.

    For the record - I'm a male, a military veteran, clean cut, well spoken, polite and courteous to a fault. There is not a racial issue at play here either as my neighbors all share my complexion.

    I poured some organic weed killer on the 6" strip of dirt that had generated the offending weeds hoping to keep them down for the season too.

    A couple of weeks later an animal control officer shows up telling me that my neighbors (again I'm never told who) had complained about one of my laying ducks quacking, I resolved the issue hours later by giving away all the birds much to my children's heartbreak. Issue resolved.

    Today I get a letter from the city saying that a neighbor has complained that I poured motor oil over my back fence into the alleyway (same one). This fence backs up to my strictly organic vegetable garden. They clearly saw the weed killer and reported it as motor oil.

    Now. This is becoming an issue. Clearly someone has it out for me. Maybe it's the same guy, maybe it's the gal next to him - who has her cottonwoods sprayed with noxious chemicals that were landing in my vegetable garden on my food?! I asked the tree service to stop 2 years ago - never heard more about it.

    In any case this posse of centenarians I call neighbors have decided they don't like us, no matter what overtures we've made to them. They've all been here since dirt was young and raised kids together. We're the "new" intruders. I'm just waiting for them to call in my dogs barking, or my kids making too much noise in the back yard. Or maybe my truck starting in the morning is too loud.

    I don't want to start a code enforcement war as that serves no purpose other than revenge. Talking to my neighbors doesn't work either.

    The question is, this is clearly harassment at this point, with the ceaseless calls to the City reporting my every move. what do I do? Hire a lawyer and send a generic cease and desist harassment letter to 5 neighbors?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    15,937

    Default Re: Harassment by Neighbor Via Repeated Code Enforcement Calls

    The question is, this is clearly harassment at this point, with the ceaseless calls to the City reporting my every move. what do I do? Hire a lawyer and send a generic cease and desist harassment letter to 5 neighbors?
    You have my sympathies. My neighborhood is finally at the tail end of its generational turnover - we've only got three of the "original" families left, and only one is obnoxious. (They're obnoxious enough for 10 families, but that's hardly the point.)

    You could have cease and desist letters sent, but that would probably escalate matters. Are you prepared to sue the hell out of them if they fail to comply with the C&D?

    Otherwise, there's little to do until they either get bored and move to Arizona, or shuffle off this mortal coil.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Harassment by Neighbor Via Repeated Code Enforcement Calls

    It just makes for such a hostile environment, I feel like I'm walking on eggshells on my own property. I really would like to up and sell this place and move out onto a non-incorporated parcel.

    It's sad, because we love our home, but the ceaseless backbiting has it's toll. It's like having a poltergeist - you never know where it's going to come from next!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    15,937

    Default Re: Harassment by Neighbor Via Repeated Code Enforcement Calls

    Quote Quoting putupon
    View Post
    It's like having a poltergeist - you never know where it's going to come from next!
    That's pretty apt.

    Not long after I bought my house, the neighbor behind me called the police on me for "excessive noise". The noise? The sound of the water from the garden sprinkler hitting the side of my garage and the broad leaves of the eggplant and zucchini were was "frightening her grandson". I asked the cop if I was going to be arrested for aggravated gardening, with intent to commit spaghetti sauce. He thought that was pretty funny, and went over to inform the neighbor that watering the garden at 4 in the afternoon is not only not a violation of any noise ordinance, neither is watering it any other time, don't ever call the police for that again.

    The neighbor across the street used to call the city out about "tall weeds" in my front yard. They're not weeds. They're "President" canna lilies, they get 5 feet tall. The city was not amused with her constant calls and threatened action if she didn't knock it off.

    It has taken about 5 years for these neighbors to get the picture - my property is mine, I'll garden at will, and they're NOT going to drive me out. I paid for my house, fair and square, and if they don't like it, THEY can move.

    Hang in there. Don't let them drive you from your home. They will eventually get tired of bothering you (and move on to someone else, no doubt).
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Harassment by Neighbor Via Repeated Code Enforcement Calls

    We have a community policing office for our small part of old town - she just happens to be out for a honeymoon at the moment. Later in October I plan on making myself known to her and discuss the issue. See what she has to say about it.

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